Sunday will mark the 81st year that inductions were held for the Baseball Hall of Fame, and 2010 will see Andre Dawson, manager Whitey Herzog, and umpire Doug Harvey eternally enshrined in Cooperstown.
Andre Dawson, nicknamed "The Hawk," was known for his meticulous work ethic, positive attitude, and strong personal character both on and off the diamond.
His 1987 NL MVP Award, eight All-Star selections, eight Gold Glove Awards, and four Silver Slugger Awards are just several examples of his legendary accomplishments, which solidified him a spot in Cooperstown in his ninth year of eligibility.
Former teammate Ryne Sandberg described Dawson best during his own induction speech in 2005: "No player in baseball history worked harder, suffered more or did it better than Andre Dawson. He's the best I've ever seen. I watched him win an MVP for a last-place team in 1987 [with the Cubs], and it was the most unbelievable thing I've ever seen in baseball. He did it the right way, the natural way, and he did it in the field and on the bases and in every way, and I hope he will stand up here someday."
The following slides illustrate ten rarely known truths about The Hawk that the average baseball fan may be surprised to read.
During Andre Dawson's 21 years in the bigs, his 1987 National League MVP season was far and away his signature campaign.
His 49 homeruns and 137 RBI both led the National League, and he complimented those numbers with a .287 batting average, 90 runs scored, 24 doubles, 11 stolen bases, and a .568 slugging percentage.
Defensively, he registered 271 put-outs with a .990 fielding percentage, while being credited with twelve outfield assists.
The Hawk also earned both a Gold Glove Award and a Silver Slugger Award to honor his efforts with the Chicago Cubs during the 1987 season.
To recognize his work ethic and never-say-die attitude, Andre Dawson was honored with The Hutch Award at the end of his 1994 season with the Boston Red Sox.
The Hutch Award is given annually to an active Major League Baseball player who best exemplifies the fighting spirit and competitive desire of Fred Hutchinson. The award was created in 1965 in honor of Hutchinson, the former major league baseball pitcher and manager, who died of cancer in November 1964 at the age of 45.
The Hawk broke into the Majors with the Montreal Expos, and he exploded onto the scene by earning the 1977 National League Rookie of the Year Award.
Dawson hit .282 that year, adding 19 homeruns, 65 RBI, 64 runs scored, 24 doubles, nine triples, and 21 stolen bases to his stat line.
Defensively, he registered 352 put-outs with a .989 fielding percentage, while being credited with nine outfield assists.
Only 289 players have hit for the cycle in baseball history, and Andre Dawson joined that elite group on April 29, 1987.
The Hawk went 5 for 5 that day, hitting 2 singles, a double, a triple, and one homerun. He also drove in two runs while only scoring once.
Coincidentally, the Cubs defeated the San Francisco Giants by a score of 8-4, and Greg Maddux picked up the win for Chicago.
In 1997, Dawson's #10 was finally retired by the Montreal Expos in his honor.
After the franchise moved to Washington, the Montreal Canadiens raised a banner in the Bell Centre to commemorate all of the retired Expos numbers, including Dawson's.
It's also worth mentioning that there were two number tens on the banner, the other belonging to Expo legend Rusty Staub.
During his Expo days, Dawson hit two home runs in the same inning twice— once at Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium against the Atlanta Braves on July 30, 1978, and again at Wrigley Field against his future team, the Chicago Cubs, on September 24, 1985.
To this day, The Hawk and Willie McCovey are the only two players in Major League Baseball history to accomplish such a feat.
In the 1987 Home Run Derby at the Oakland Coliseum, Dawson hit a total of four balls into the seats, defeating Ozzie Virgil (2), George Bell (1) and Mark McGwire (1) to capture the crown.
In 1984, Andre starred in the film The Cap, which was written and directed by Robert A. Duncan.
The storyline centers on a young boy from Montreal named Steve (Nicholas Podbrey) who is given a baseball cap by his idol, Andre Dawson of the Montreal Expos.
Andre Dawson retired in 1996 after his 21st major league season. His final game was with the Florida Marlins, and upon retirement, he accepted a position within the Marlin organization.
Today, Dawson serves as the Special Assistant to the President, David P. Samson.
Andre Dawson is one of only six players in Major League history to join the 300-300 Club—a player who hits more than 300 homeruns and steals more than 300 bases over the course of his career. The other players to accomplish this are Barry Bonds, Willie Mays, Bobby Bonds, Reggie Sanders and Steve Finley.
Dawson is also one of only three members of the 400 HR-300 SB club; the other two being Barry Bonds and Willie Mays.
The Hawk hit 438 homeruns and stole 314 bases in his 21-year career.